SPOKANE, WA - The wait is over. For the first time since 1908, the Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions, and the North Siders have a pair of former Spokane Indians pitchers to thank. Kyle Hendricks (2011) and Carl "CJ" Edwards Jr. (2012) both played crucial roles in Chicago's dramatic 8-7 win over the Cleveland Indians, as they helped the Cubs break the longest title drought in baseball history.
"This is the ultimate dream," said Hendricks before his start against the Indians. "When you're out in your backyard as a kid, playing Little League with your friends, this is the moment you dream about: Game 7."
Hendricks turned that dream into a reality with a sterling performance in a pressure-packed night at Progressive Field. The tall right-hander, who posted a 1.93 ERA with Spokane in 2011, held Cleveland to just one earned run over 4.2 innings while walking one and striking out a pair before handing the ball over to Jon Lester. Baseball's leader in ERA during the regular season (2.13) was even better in the playoffs, as Hendricks posted a 1.42 mark in 25.1 postseason innings and stood toe-to-toe with former Cy Young winners Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber.
Edwards, a former 48th-round pick who was affectionately known in Spokane as "The String Bean Slinger", retired the first two batters in the bottom of the tenth before allowing an RBI single to Rajai Davis. The 25-year-old from Prosperity, South Carolina finished the postseason with a 2.84 ERA and firmly established himself as the future closer for the Cubs.
"It was a dream come true," Edwards said. "I didn't expect to get in but when they called my number all I could say was, 'This is it. This is my moment.' "
It was a moment that fans from Chicago - and Spokane - won't forget anytime soon.
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